Grilled Beef with Spicy Asian Dipping Sauce

This simple recipe is all about the beef, says Neil Perry, though he adds, "The sweet-salty Indonesian dipping sauce is sensational in its own right--I have been playing around with it recently in my test kitchen, so it is bound to pop up somewhere soon on one of my menus. It would be fantastic with a piece of poached chicken or grilled salmon. Here, it works incredibly well with the spicy, peppery crust on the sirloin."

Slideshow:More Quick Beef Dishes

  • Active:
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  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon kecap manis (see Note)
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, cut 3/4 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Asian red pepper flakes or crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, finely shredded

How to make this recipe

  1. Light a grill. In a small glass baking dish, mix the peanut oil with the <em>kecap manis</em>. Season the steak with salt and pepper, add it to the dish and turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce with the lime juice, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, cilantro and shallot.

  3. Grill the steak over moderately high heat, turning once, until medium-rare, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak across the grain. Mound the cabbage on plates, top with the sliced steak and serve the sauce on the side.


Kecap manis is a thick, slightly sweet Indonesian seasoning with a soybean base. Look for it at Asian markets or online at

Suggested Pairing

For spicy, Indonesian-style dishes like this one, Perry says, "Riesling is obvious, but don't discount some of the heavier reds." For instance, a powerful Cabernet blend.

Contributed By Published October 2007

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